I feel like I have to put "Christian" in quotation marks when I write about it, because I don't buy what all the "Evangelical" (by definition, all Christians are "evangelical"- when you hear "evangelical" in the news, what they mean is "legalists") talking heads and Rick Santorums and Phelpses and Limbaughs and Dobsons and Issas, etcetera are selling to you about what "we" believe or whatever. They don't speak for me, but they've kind of claimed the word "Christian" to the point that its become threatening. I have to reconcile "faith" according to Fox News and being an actual decent human being. It's not easy when these are the role models offered up by the media for the Jesus-friendly. So I have to get creative with my heroes.
Padre The fictitious military Chaplain from "M.A.S.H.". So wise. And he hung out with trouble makers and never ever "shamed" them. I LOVE troublemakers. Those are my PEEPS. Not because I get to be all self righteous, but because they're honest and fun and fearless.
Dolly Parton, who has an irresistable sense of humor about herself. Dolly doesn't take Dolly seriously. She seems to be aware that this entire existence is basically a cosmic joke. Inconsequential compared to the scope of the universe and time.
Mario Lemieux. Look up Wayne Gretzky's records...Mario Lemieux is #2 for all of them. Except Mario was playing with a broken back and chemo treatments for Hodgkins Lymphoma. The day of his last treatment, he flew to Philedelphia and scored 2 goals against the Flyers. B. Freaking. A. And he declined to take a paycheck, to keep the team from being sold to Kansas City- until he'd racked up enough back pay to just buy the team outright. Which he did. And dug it out of debt in 3 years. AND he let's the young players live with his family. Sidney Crosby lived with him for 5 years. My car is named after his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don't even know if he's a Christian, but he's both tough and kind, and he treats money like it's not "his" as much as it is "his for now". His money isn't his sacred cow.
Mr. Rogers. He was kind and welcoming and underneath that cardigan were some epic tattoo sleeves from his days in the military. So he's a faith role model and a favorite style icon.
Helena Bonham Carter. "Imperfection is under-rated"- Oh heck yes it is. Perfect people don't need each other and they don't need Jesus. Plus, "perfection" is always subjective, and I don't believe it exists at all. Except of course for my lovely husband.
And then there is Kevin Smith. Slacker movie pioneer, and Fred Phelps antigonizer extraordinaire. His movie "Dogma" (Where religious hokum nearly unmakes the entirety of existence, moral of the story being "God might be real, but watch out for humans who claim to channel him. They're about as genuine as State-Fair fortune tellers in discount children's "Esmeralda" Halloween costumes, stretched to Midwestern-lovehandle capacity.") made a huge impact on my God-Channelers/Lawmakers outlook.
Plus, the Phelps family came after him for being some sort of gay-enabler -I have to stare at that label with the dog-that-just-saw-a-laser-pointer face. I don't understand it, but then again, who but the Phelps understand the Phelps. Which inspired him to do a horror flick about a wackadoo legalistic Church-Cult, which is the only horror movie I will ever voluntarily watch (With my childhood teddy bear "Cinnamon"). I saw a Q&A he did on TV Saturday night, he talked about his interactions with the Phelps Family. Kevin counter protested with funny signs and invites them to speak after screenings of the movie.
They aren't even targeting me, but the Phelps's make me Hulk-smash angry. Mr. Smith makes them look every bit as silly as I attempt to when I pick apart their flawed theology angrily in my tiny interweb-ampitheatre. But Mr. Smith's blood pressure is lower at the end of the day. It's possible that I take them more seriously because where I'm from, people may say the Group is "extreme"- but many also hold the same bigoted view of the LGBT Community, just without the f-worded placards. It seems like a real threat to me. But by taking them seriously, I've just been lending credibility where none is due. Mr. Kevin Smith taught me that while I was drunk-ordering clearance bedspreads from Urban Outfitters. It was a genuine "moment".
Having seen his movies, I had always assumed was one of those Hollywood atheists. "I'm too smart for Jesus but I fell for this fad diet" type. Except Kevin wouldn't diet. Which is bonus awesomeness in my book. But apparently, he IS a Christian. My gasted was totally flabbered. SILENT BOB PRAYS TO JESUS you guys! I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel totally vindicated when someone I respect for being a decent human being turns out to be a Christian. More often than not, people can't really check both boxes. Or when they can, they wave their "Club Jesus" applications in the faces of us common folk at every opportunity (*cough* Tim Tebow).